Retten til information er afgørende
Today, I visited the Municipality of Silkerborg, along with my fellow super 17 participants, to discuss the tax policies in the municipality. Silkerborg is a frontrunner, because the politicians have decided not to cooperate with companies using tax heavens.
I was the director of the day, and my role was to lead and moderate a discussion on the Sustainable Development goal number 17 on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.
I drew good lessons:
1. For the purpose of transparency and accountability, the citizens must create an envirinment of open society, where all the citizens should be free to speak out their opinions on various political matters.
2. I also noticed that the mayor was accesible to both the residents of Silkerborg and even the 8 members of our super17 team. The realization of the right to information is key to and should be emulated by developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
3 Tax justice matters is a matter of collaboration between the citizens, the government and the civil society. For example, MS ActionAid Denmark has facilited various ActionAid plartforms in developing countries like Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Nepal and Elsavador - amongst many other countries - to demamd for justice in the tax systems. Through capacity building and trainings, the citizens of these countries are informed about tax matters and will raise to demamd for justice .
The statistics has it that my country Kenya loses almost 8 billion Kenyan shillings annually to multinational companies who don't pay tax, give tax holidays or use tax havens. The money lost is enough to develop good health and medical facilities, proper road and transportation infrastructure and schools for pupils in Hardship areas. As such, the government and the politicians must be the final decesion makers in matters of tax justice and not the multinational companies.